Kitchen 430

    Published on June 23rd, 2009 | by Greg


    Two From Oliso: High-Tech Iron and Vacuum Sealer

    What do an innovative iron and an updated version of the FoodSaver have in common? Oliso, of course- connected, in some way, with Theconsumerlink.com, and Unovo. We’ve been testing out their two products, the Frisper and the Oliso Steam Iron, and are happy to report some mixed news- there is a better way to iron, but vacuum sealing is still a bit of a pain. And there are still e-commerce websites out there that don’t function well with Firefox!

    We’ll start with the good. The Oliso TG-1000 iron features an auto-lift system, basically a nifty gadget upgrade to a decent iron, that allows you to keep the iron horizontal at all times and without worrying about burning your clothes. When you let go of the iron, the feet automatically engage, lifting it up a bit from the surface. This way, you don’t strain your wrists constantly lifting and shifting the iron, and it’s a bit faster to use as well. Further, because the weight is distributed more widely, and across a larger surface when horizontal, you’re less likely to tip it over.

    We loved the horizontal steam, when it worked properly, for giving a nice blast of steam without needing to aim or make multiple sprays. And the cord and refill parts of the iron seemed well-made, fairly durable and robust. It’s also attractive, and offers plenty of fabric options. But we noticed that the feet themselves seemed a bit less durable- the auto-lift mechanism isn’t delicate, but isn’t as sturdy as we would’ve liked to see. Finally, $110 is quite a bit for an iron, but gadget-minded folks, or those who value their time and hate to waste it ironing, would do well to consider this excellent, feature-packed iron. Available online, and in some department and home stores.

    Next up was the Oliso Frisper FF-600&., a device aimed at those who want to preserve their foods for later. As with other, similar systems, it can handle a wide variety of foodstuffs. The special part of this new model is the ability to utilize special containers (and, like the previous model, reuse bags). Of course, re-usable bags are not recommended for meats or fish, but it can still save quite a bit of money over time on bags.

    And let’s face it, money is most likely what you are trying to save here- vacuum sealing is great, but it’s still basically a way to make food last longer. And because of the cost of the unit, we definitely recommend thinking carefully- you’ll need to seal a fair bit of food (and eat it later) to make up the cost of the original purchase. There isn’t much doubt about it’s utility- it can indeed seal bags fairly well, and seemed to do a fair job preserving the taste. It’s also simple enough to use- essentially one touch- and it is fairly small and compact. The starter kit we tried included not just the normal quart and gallon bags, but so-called flexible containers in the same sizes. They seem like a good idea… at least partially because the bags do have an issue, even the “flexible containers” to a lesser extent.

    Zipper bags are convenient- but they also are hard to seal well, and the Frisper bags are no exception. That’s why they included a little plastic doohickey, called the Zip-Disc, to help you seal the bags. Unfortunately, on our unit at least, the Zip-Disc seemed to be an afterthought, as it was simply taped in a small bag to the box itself. And, in fact, the Frisper did work much better after we had sealed the bags using the Zip-Disc… until we lost it somewhere between the counters. They do include a mediocre magnet sticker, but the disc itself is hard to grip and fairly easy to lose. And without it, it’s definitely harder to seal the bags, and the whole system breaks down a bit.

    For those in need of a vacuum sealer, the Frisper seems like a nice advance, offering more than simple bags, and well-designed if not revolutionary. $70, available soon.

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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